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I Don't Want to Live Like This Anymore!

by Luna
(Belgium (from the US))

My story starts 2 and a half years ago, the summer before my first year of High School. I have always been the chunky girl. I was made fun of for it, but it never bothered me, because my mom always said I was perfect and beautiful. Plus, I have always been the happy-go-lucky, couldn't hurt a fly, never found misbehaving kid, and thus life was good! Then, I decided to go vegetarian because I have always been a hippie and wanted to help the planet. Then I decided I wanted to be healthy too, so I started working out. Lone behold, by the end of my first year of high school, everyone I knew was constantly commenting on how skinny I was. I felt really good, though never skinny. I couldn't recognize it because I had never been the skinny girl.

Around this time, I decided to go vegan. It seemed the logical next step in my 'be healthy and love the Earth' plan. But, dropping all the dairy products I had lived on my entire life (my favorite meal growing up was mac and cheese) proved really stressful for my body, and I started binging. I didn't purge, though. It never even crossed my mind. Though I hated how my stomach hurt all the time. Thus, I decided to return to my vegetarian diet in an attempt to correct this. Only it didn't work.

My first purge was that summer. I remember eating a lot of rice with mushroom sauce, and thinking "oh, it will just be a one time thing, I won't eat this much again". Than I stuck my finger down my throat. Over the next year I alternated between vegetarian and vegan, my bulimia improving with the latter. I decided I wanted to study abroad and my mom and sister were getting suspicious, so I made an effort to improve. And it got better! Especially after I started cutting, as I replacing binging with my razor. I was really depressed at this point. Bulimic, self injuring, my mom was near insane from stress (she would stay in bed for days on end and when she was up and about she screamed at my sister and I constantly), and all of my 'friends' suddenly stopped hanging out with me. Plus I had school, work, and preparing to leave for my year abroad.

When I arrived here in Europe, however, things improved. Life was good. I had only b/p-ed 5 times in almost two months and hadn't cut at all. Then some really unlucky stuff went down as a result of alcohol about a month and a half ago (wonderful stuff, it is. Nah.), and since then I have spiraled out of control. B/p-ing 5-10 times a week +, sometimes everyday, sometimes in just two. It got to the point that I started purging into bags in my bathroom (which has no toilet because that is the european way) because I didn't want people to hear me. Up to this point only one person knew of my mental struggles, and that was my best friend back in the US. However, my host family discovered my problem, and have told me I need to cut it out if I want to stay here. They aren't going to be much help, though, considering they are completely ignorant when it comes to bulimia (and my knowledge of French is nowhere near being proficient enough to explain), and my host mom doesn't believe a word I say, and likes to make general assumptions with only a small bit of information. <---(triggering)

The thing is, I know what my major triggers are, for the most part (I had a revelation about a week ago when I decided this ACTUALLY needs to stop. I have tried to recover many times.), and I know the reasons behind my addiction. Two of the triggers/reasons I am actively working on, which is learning to cry and talk to people about my problems. The third is trickier, though, because I have discovered that eating animal products will instantly send me down binge road, but veganism doesn't really exist here, and everything is laden with meat and dairy. Just today, after two days free, I b/p-ed two times back-to-back, which happens everytime I slip up now. Thank you for you for reading my story, even though it is excessively long, poorly written, and probably rather boring. :P

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program